Collection Highlights

The Scare of Smallpox Through the Lens of 18th Century Correspondence

Living through life post-2020 pandemic has made us learn a lot of things about preparing for the unknown. But humans aren’t new to the phenomenon of epidemics. While working with the Florida State University’s Special Collections and Archives, I came across a series of letters from the 17th-20th Century Correspondence and Documents collection that mentionContinue reading “The Scare of Smallpox Through the Lens of 18th Century Correspondence”

Ancient Cuneiform Tablets Spend 100 Years at FSU

The present year of 2022 marks a full century since the acquisition of Special Collections and Archives’ oldest inanimate residents, the cuneiform tablets. Purchased by faculty in 1922, these twenty-five tablets were bought from Edgar J. Banks back when the school was still referred to as the Florida State College for Women. Although they currentlyContinue reading “Ancient Cuneiform Tablets Spend 100 Years at FSU”

Tarpon Club at Strozier

Heritage & University Archives has a new exhibit displaying materials from FSU’s Tarpon Club in the Norwood Reading Room at Strozier. This exhibit was put together by Sierria Groom over the summer. Continue reading to learn more about her experience curating this exhibit and to learn where and when you can view it. As anContinue reading “Tarpon Club at Strozier”

LGBT Oral History Project of North Florida

Oral history is one of the biggest components of understanding the queer experience. Most LGBTQ+ history has been passed down orally, rather than through written material. Oral histories have special characteristics that other resources in our collection don’t have – intimacy. They provide a first-hand view and help us understand a specific moment in timeContinue reading “LGBT Oral History Project of North Florida”

Naiad Press and the Oral History of Lesbians in Tallahassee

Did you know that Tallahassee was once home to the largest and oldest lesbian book press in the world? Run by Barbara Grier and Donna McBride, Naiad Press published a wide range of books written by and for lesbians. Authors published through Naiad Press included Patricia Highsmith, Katherine V. Forrest, Ann Bannon, and FSU’s ownContinue reading “Naiad Press and the Oral History of Lesbians in Tallahassee”

Norman Baker and The Naked Truth

Norman G. Baker assumed many roles during his life – vaudeville performer, mail-order salesman, calliope manufacturer, congressional candidate. However, his greatest notoriety stems from his discredited cancer cure and the media empire that sold it to America.

New to Diginole: Commencement Invitations and Programs

The Spring 2022 semester just came to a close and with it meant a new class of graduating Florida State University students. Here at Special Collections & Archives, we have commencement materials from almost every graduating class in the history of FSU. Our Commencement Program collection contains various materials related to commencement, including programs, announcements,Continue reading “New to Diginole: Commencement Invitations and Programs”

Postcards from the Library

This month, Special Collections & Archives teamed up with Student Outreach at Strozier to present Postcards from the Library, highlighting books and objects about travel, home, and identity. Our window display addresses FSU memorabilia and the International Program, general travel containing objects from the collections of our donors, World’s Fair souvenirs, and immigration and identity.Continue reading “Postcards from the Library”

Digitizing Local History

One of my favorite programs I oversee is our Community Digitization Partnerships. These partnerships allow me to work with local organizations in the North Florida area to bring their materials online via DigiNole: FSU’s Digital Repository. We often work with non-traditional organizations like schools and churches, bringing collections online that would otherwise be unknown toContinue reading “Digitizing Local History”

Anna Forbes Liddell: Suffragist, scholar, and Distinguished Professor

Anna Forbes Liddell was one of the first professors to be honored as a Distinguished Professor at FSU. She received the award in 1959, prior to it being named the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Award. Liddell taught at Florida State College for Women, eventually Florida State University, from 1926 until her retirement in 1962.Continue reading “Anna Forbes Liddell: Suffragist, scholar, and Distinguished Professor”

Black History Month at Special Collections: Langston Hughes

This February, we are celebrating Black History Month by highlighting some of the Black authors and artists that we feature in our collections. Today I want to acknowledge poet, novelist, and activist, Langston Hughes. Hughes was a prominent figure of the Harlem Renaissance, his work known for capturing snapshots of daily life for Black Americans.Continue reading “Black History Month at Special Collections: Langston Hughes”

Reels and Reels of Film: Assessing the AV Holdings in SCA

The following blog post was written by Lukas Foerster, FSU Special Collections & Archives Fall 2021 Intern. As an intern at FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives department, I took part in a number of preservation and cataloging projects during the fall term, most of them centered around audiovisual material. A wide variety of movingContinue reading “Reels and Reels of Film: Assessing the AV Holdings in SCA”

Hymn To the… Purple and Gold?

Happy College Colors Day! To celebrate, we wanted to share an interesting bit of our university’s history with you. Though Florida State University is recognized by its garnet and gold school colors, FSU’s predecessor institutions went through several color changes before settling on the iconic combination that we are so familiar with today.  The storyContinue reading “Hymn To the… Purple and Gold?”

Amazing Grace: Tallahassee’s Countercultural Newspaper

What do you think of when you think of the culture of the late 1960s and 1970s? Hippies? Beatnik literature? Civil Rights? The Beatles? Woodstock?  All of those events, movements, people, and art that you might be thinking of belong to a certain period in history: the counterculture movement. Permeating everything from clothing, music, culture,Continue reading “Amazing Grace: Tallahassee’s Countercultural Newspaper”

The Casual Dirac

The Paul A.M. Dirac Papers are a terrific source of information about the public, scholarly side of Paul Dirac: the lecturer, the genius mathematician, a theorist among theorists. However, in our eagerness to honor someone’s professional achievements, it’s easy to gloss over the rest of their personality, the private figure that coexists with the publicContinue reading “The Casual Dirac”

Pocket books: small volumes in the Shaw Collection

Today we are celebrating John MacKay Shaw on the anniversary of his death in 1984. Shaw (1897-1984) was a Scottish-born American businessman and philanthropist who collected works of British and American poetry related to the theme of childhood.  When talking about the Shaw collection, we often highlight the 5,000 first and rare editions of majorContinue reading “Pocket books: small volumes in the Shaw Collection”

Recycling and Reuse in Medieval Manuscripts

When you think of the Middle Ages, do you think of recycling? While the concept may seem foreign to us now, medieval people regularly reused and recycled all kinds of objects. Obviously, medieval recycling wasn’t concerned with the idea of reducing single-use plastic or trying to decrease contributions to landfills. Instead, recycling was simply aContinue reading “Recycling and Reuse in Medieval Manuscripts”

Sun City

Recently, we digitized the Sun City Development and Motion Picture Studio Plat Map Sheets for use in a class which led me to look into…what are these exactly? I uncovered a fascinating story of the brother of Cleveland railroad barons and a Georgia inventor who, a decade apart, tried to bring Hollywood to Florida. DuringContinue reading “Sun City”

Maggie Kuhn, Claude Pepper and the Repeal of Mandatory Retirement

“Some persons dodder at 30, others at 80, and some pass through life without “doddering” at all. Our concern should be with competency, not age, race, sex or religion” – Representative Claude Pepper, 1986 There was a time for many professions in the United States when a person’s 65th birthday signaled the end of theirContinue reading “Maggie Kuhn, Claude Pepper and the Repeal of Mandatory Retirement”

Found in the Archives: The Capitol March for the Equal Rights Amendment in Tallahassee

October is American Archives Month! As an institution that works alongside and documents the local community, I wanted to highlight two collections housed in the Claude Pepper Library that illustrate local political action in our historic capitol: The National Organization of Women, Tallahassee Chapter Records and the League of Women Voters, Tallahassee Chapter Records. TheContinue reading “Found in the Archives: The Capitol March for the Equal Rights Amendment in Tallahassee”

Capturing Virtual FSU

When the world of FSU changed in March 2020, the website for FSU was used as one of the primary communication tools to let students, faculty, and staff know what was going on. New webpages created specifically to share information and news popped up all over fsu.edu and we had no idea how long thoseContinue reading “Capturing Virtual FSU”

Contribute to the FSU Community COVID 19 Project

Students, faculty, and alumni! Heritage & University Archives is collecting stories and experiences from the FSU community during COVID-19. University life during a pandemic will be studied by future scholars. During this pandemic, we have received requests surrounding the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Unfortunately, not many documents describing these experiences survive in the archive.  To createContinue reading “Contribute to the FSU Community COVID 19 Project”

Michael McClure: In Memoriam

On May 4th of this year, one of the great geniuses of poetry and the arts passed away, and we wanted to take a moment here to commemorate his passing. Michael McClure helped launch the counterculture Beat generation alongside Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Philip Whalen, and Diane Di Prima, and is also associatedContinue reading “Michael McClure: In Memoriam”

From the Talisman to Smoke Signals: a student publication at FSU

The history of Florida State University and its predecessor institutions is ubiquitous with numerous and varied outlets for student expression. Student-run publications have been at the heart of student expression on campus since 1906, when Florida State College for Women students began Talisman. The Talisman was the first literary magazine published by an institution ofContinue reading “From the Talisman to Smoke Signals: a student publication at FSU”

Behind the Scenes: Building a Digital Exhibit with Omeka

Like all of you, Covid-19 made an abrupt change to my spring semester. Thankfully, my Digital History class was mostly unaffected because the assignments were already web-based. Our final project had us create a digital exhibit using Omeka.net which is a free platform available from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for New Media. As opposed toContinue reading “Behind the Scenes: Building a Digital Exhibit with Omeka”

Community Partner Spotlight: First Baptist Church of Tallahassee

For our second community partner spotlight, I am excited to be able to share newly available materials in the First Baptist Church of Tallahassee (FBCT) digital collection! Once we completed digitization of the church bulletins, I met with my contacts at the Church for what they wanted to explore for digitization next. A set ofContinue reading “Community Partner Spotlight: First Baptist Church of Tallahassee”

Community Partner Spotlight: Havana History & Heritage Society

One of my favorite responsibilities in my work is coordinating and working with community organizations in the Tallahassee area to digitize materials they hold in their historical collections. As a public university, I feel FSU, and by extension myself, have a responsibility to help smaller community institutions who are unable, for various reasons, to digitizeContinue reading “Community Partner Spotlight: Havana History & Heritage Society”

Collection Update: The Historical Photograph Collection

This article was written by Jeffrey Henley, a graduate student who has been working with the Florida State University Historic Photograph Collection with Heritage & University Archives since September 2018. The FSU Historic Photograph Collection in the Heritage & University Archives at Florida State University contains in excess of 250,000 images and negatives. The collectionContinue reading “Collection Update: The Historical Photograph Collection”

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